Regulators Set Priorities For Near Term-1.jpg

Regulators Set Priorities For Near Term

Tight budgets require regulatory focus

Around the world, aviation regulators are being asked to push aviation safety to even higher levels, all while easing burdens on regulated firms. Yet the budgets for doing this are often static or even shrinking. That means being very careful about regulatory priorities. At the recent symposium of the U.S.’s Aeronautical Repair Station Association, regulators from Brazil, Canada, Europe and the U.S. described the priorities they were setting under budget pressures.

One way to safely reduce regulatory burdens is to minimize redundant inspections by collaborating with other regulators. Helio Tarquino from Brazil’s Agencia Nacional de Aviacao Civil says his agency is now working on its Maintenance Implementation Procedures (MIP) with FAA and expects these to be completed in 2018. ANAC and FAA began developing their Maintenance Agreement Guidance, or MAG, in October 2017. And Brazil’s regulators are also working on similar MIPs and MAGs with Canada and Europe.

This year and in 2019, ANAC is setting specific goals. It will be working on Design Organization Approvals, Safety Management Systems for design and manufacturing organizations, preventive maintenance by pilots, requirements for managers at airlines and MROs and qualifications of aircraft mechanics.

Robert Sincennes, director of Civil Aviation Standards at Transport Canada, says his agency is investing in strategic risk assessments based on accidents, oversight, industry evolution, international developments and emerging technologies. TC wants to continue driving down accident rates, which have been declining steadily in the past decade. And TC is also undergoing an internal transformation designed to make it more efficient.

TC’s current regulatory priorities include standards for approved training organizations, due in 2019. It also wants to increase maintenance intervals from one to two years for emergency location transmitters operating at 406 MegaHerz. And it plans to publish an advisory circular on undocumented parts in late 2018 and establish new credentials for mechanic licenses sometime in 2018.

Thomas Mickler, EASA’s Washington representative, says his agency is working on requirements for Safety Management Systems for maintenance organizations, with a decision expected in the fourth quarter of 2020. In the fourth quarter of 2019, EASA expects to have new rules governing production of instructions for continued airworthiness. Also by that period, the agency would like to have a new rule allowing for easier release of non-critical aircraft parts without a Form 1.  A new rule on importing aircraft from other regulatory jurisdictions should follow in the second quarter of 2020. And EASA is considering upgrading requirements of class D cargo compartments to match those of Class C or E compartments.

Internationally, EASA and FAA are revising their TIP, and the European agency is moving toward aviation agreements with China and Japan. Mickler says new working arrangements have been concluded with the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and other nations.

John Duncan, executive director of Flight Standards at FAA, said his office is concentrating on continuous improvement and wants to respond better to feedback from regulated firms. Dorenda Baker, his counterpart in Aircraft Certification, said her office is making progress on reducing duplicate design approvals by different regulatory agencies. FAA recently completed its China Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness (IPA), and the Singapore IPA took effect Feb. 6.

Several members of the ARSA audience were intensely interested in progress on bilateral collaboration to eliminate duplicate regulatory reviews. Panel members agreed on benefits, but argued these collaborations require substantial time and effort to execute, if only due to political factors.  

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